HARRIET THE TORTOISE
brought Tom, Dick, and Harry to Australia aboard a whaling ship and donated the youthful 12-year-old tortoises to Brisbane Botanical Gardens.
As time went by, Tom and Dick died from unknown causes. Wanting to preserve their tortoise attractions for the next 100 years, Harry’s Brisbane caretakers tried in vain to mate him with female Galápagos land tortoises. When he was in the gardens, he had to put up with people riding him. You could see the scars on his shell where people used to engrave their names on his back. Soldiers returning home from various wars even painted his shell a couple of times.
In 1952, Harry was moved to a fauna sanctuary on Australia’s Gold Coast, where it was finally discovered that Harry was in fact a Harriet! Darwin evidently was not able to determine Harry’s sex. Harriet made her final move in 1988 to the Australia Zoo. She loved to eat hibiscus flowers, along with zucchini, squash, beans, and parsley. At 330 pounds, Harriet spent much of her remaining days snoozing in her pond. Harriet died at 175 years of age in June of 2006. She was the third oldest tortoise in the world.
One reason Harriet survived so long is because God provides a tortoise with a natural armor in its shell. Did you know God has provided armor for Christians to preserve us for everlasting life? Paul writes, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10, 11). This armor is not meant to protect against bullets and bombs, but “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (verse 12). With this armor in place, we can be assured of protection from death. We can live forever.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.Psalms 91:16